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I feel like I was born in the wrong place and I'm surrounded by wrong people, ideals etc.

I'm very much into buddhism, but with all the things I learned until now, that I'm 23 in Germany, I feel like this life I have right now is not right for me.

Since I grew up in Germany in a normal house etc, I can't imagine myself as a monk. But I can't also imagine myself living like I do at the moment. I'm torn between two worlds so to say. Also, I wouldn't know where to go or how to get there. If I should continue working as a developer which doesn't fulfill me since I'm not helping people. I feel lost in this world, and since this pandemic is going on all the Buddhist monasteries around me are closed.

Well, maybe you have a few tips.

EDIT: Thank you for all your replies. I did always know that I was much better off than others. I also know there are a lot of people that would love to trade places with me and give up everything they have. That day when I wrote this I was in a despair and felt quite lost. I didn't want to offend anybody or make anyone mad. If I did I am truly sorry about it. Currently I am in a existencial/spiritual crisis since I had a completely different world view just a few months ago. Where all I cared about was money, girls, sex, cars, clothes etc. and I realized that all this stuff will not make me happy in any way. So my whole world view crumbled. Then I started feeling like an alien and also started thinking about my mortality etc.

Well to get to the point: I am sorry if I offended anybody and I truly know that I am lucky now. I am working on myself a lot these past months. Thank you all I appreciate it greatly.

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    You can very much help people as a developer. Lots of applications out there that save lives (ie. medical, positional), or help people grow and improve in different ways. – Blackness Apr 29 at 7:06
  • Yes definetly. But most companies only help other people make more money. I'm currently working in such a company. But I'll be on the lookout for other opportunities where I can help more people. Thanks πŸ™ – buddhismcuriousity Apr 29 at 8:51
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    Please don't feel guilty about asking questions, you're not being offensive. I think that one of the tenets of Buddhism might be that financial well-being is actually not a guarantee that people will feel happy and secure. – ChrisW May 1 at 11:39
  • No no I don't feel guilty about it. It helped me a lot. But I wanted to clarify that I didn't mean any harm with it. It just felt right to me. – buddhismcuriousity May 1 at 11:44
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OP: I feel like I was born in the wrong place and I'm surrounded by wrong people, ideals etc.

I'm very much into buddhism, but with all the things I learned until now, that I'm 23 in Germany, I feel like this life I have right now is not right for me.

I'm not German, but I've stayed in Germany before, and worked for German employers for many years.

Not all, but many Germans tend to like to follow rules, ignore superstitions, appreciate work-life balance and tend to believe in something only after doing research on it.

These are very Buddhist qualities.

The precepts (five, eight, ten) are like rules. You find the Buddha rejecting superstitions in suttas (see this answer). Work-life balance can be seen in practices like the Uposatha vs. normal life. And believing in something after researching it can be found in the Kalama Sutta.

OP: Since I grew up in Germany in a normal house etc, I can't imagine myself as a monk.

That's not because you're German. That's because you do not have enough renunciation (nekhamma). There are quite a few famous German monks in history like Bhikkhus Nyanaponika, Nyanatiloka and Analayo.

Then again, it is not required for you to become a monk. You can simply be a lay Buddhist observing the five precepts, and study and practise Buddhism at your own pace.

Have you read the question "Can a Buddhist own and run a billion dollar business?"? There's nothing wrong in being a lay Buddhist. There's also nothing wrong with being wealthy or being a businessman, if you are.

Also from the Ittha Sutta:

Long life, beauty, status, honor,
heaven, high birth:
To those who delight
in aspiring for these things
in great measure, continuously,
The wise praise heedfulness
in making merit.

The wise person, heedful,
acquires a two-fold welfare:
welfare in this life &
welfare in the next.
By breaking through to his welfare
he's called prudent, wise.

The above sutta has advice for lay people and shows them what they can aspire towards.

OP: But I can't also imagine myself living like I do at the moment. I'm torn between two worlds so to say. Also, I wouldn't know where to go or how to get there. If I should continue working as a developer which doesn't fulfill me since I'm not helping people.

I'm not a monk, but I can help people in other ways. For e.g. I'm trying to help you here, by writing this answer.

You can also find ways to use your skills as a developer to help Buddhism. For e.g. have you noticed that SuttaCentral's source code can be found on GitHub? See here.

OP: I feel lost in this world, and since this pandemic is going on all the Buddhist monasteries around me are closed.

What??? There are Buddhist monasteries which are open on YouTube.

You can attend Ajahn Brahm's dhamma talks and guided meditation sessions on the BSWA YouTube Channel. Here's a video of Ajahn Brahm conducting a five precepts taking ceremony. People send questions during his live YouTube talks. Now, with the pandemic, all of BSWA's sessions are exclusively online. BSWA is the Buddhist Society of Western Australia.

Here's Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu's YouTube channel. You can find his profile here. He has created a Digital Pali Reader and a similar Android Tipitaka app which are used by Pali scholars around the world. Here's another example of using your skills as a developer.

Here's an interesting talk for you by Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu: "Social Distancing and Buddhism".

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    I read your whole answer and I appreciate it greatly. Thank you for all the links and your time πŸ™ I sometimes feel like being a lay person isn't the "perfect" Buddhist ideal. Maybe I'm really too harsh on myself. I will also definitely check all the developer suggestions out you mentioned. I also applied to volunteer as a developer for the fridays for future movement here in Germany. I love helping people and making the world a better place. – buddhismcuriousity Apr 27 at 20:09
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    being a lay person isn't the "perfect" Buddhist ideal I found this book helpful, to explain another side of the story. Maybe there's a slightly different mahayana ideal too, I don't know. – ChrisW Apr 27 at 20:43
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    I also added Ittha Sutta to the answer to show what lay people could aspire to. – ruben2020 Apr 28 at 4:19
  • Thank you two for your patience and for sharing your knowledge πŸ™ – buddhismcuriousity Apr 28 at 8:44
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I feel like I was born in the wrong place and I'm surrounded by wrong people, ideals etc.

I'm very much into buddhism, but with all the things I learned until now, that I'm 23 in Germany, I feel like this life I have right now is not right for me.

Look a bit deeper and you'll see it's quite the opposite. The fact that you were born in Germany, not Syria, Iraq, or other war-torn regions in the MiddleEast or Africa is evidence. Imagine how much more difficult it'd be to try to cultivate the Dhamma there amid all the killings, rapings, famines and diseases, talking about being in the wrong place! And since you're a developer (assuming software developer), you're among the blessed few who are able to gain access to 99.99% of all the Buddha's teaching online, something even the most learned scholars in the old days couldn't even dream about. So, recognizing the good merit you're having now, try to take advantage of it to cultivate moral virtues, practice meditation, and develop insight/wisdom while it lasts, for as you probably already knew about the Buddhist teaching of Anicca, nothing lasts forever. At the same time, try to help others thru volunteer work. Your software skill can help in countless ways to do countless positive useful things, use it!

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    I started crying happy tears after reading this. You're so right. I've been practicing for a little over a month now seriously and known buddhism for a few years. In these last few weeks of practicing I always felt like all these distractions that are here in the world and all the people with their wrong views around me are just a bad place to be at. Whereas let's say a monestary might help you with your teachings as you have a guide that you can ask questions etc and like-minded people around you. But now that you said it I think I have a bias to think negatively. I'm so blessed. – buddhismcuriousity Apr 27 at 15:45
  • And I can do so much especially with my knowledge about software development to help humanity. I just don't know yet how. I hope I will one day find out. I meditate and practice and I always keep the impermanence in mind. Thank you πŸ™ – buddhismcuriousity Apr 27 at 15:47
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    @buddhismcuriousity, seriously, you have no idea how lucky you're. Being born in a country like Germany definitely has a lot of benefits. I'm a third world citizen and I'm dying to live a life like yours. I am a self-taught developer, but in my country, I'm treated like s**t. There are too many people here. – just-today May 1 at 8:47
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    @buddhismcuriousity Even though I earn quite good, there is a high probability that I may not be able to live a life yours. English is not my mother tongue, so I can't express the desperation and anger I feel as I am writing this. I curse myself every single day for being a 3rd world citizen. I don't follow Buddhism (or any other religion for that matter). I created this account just to reply to you. Believe me, you're very privileged. – just-today May 1 at 8:48
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    @buddhismcuriousity People in my country are leaving behind the morals and values of their culture and running blindly towards western culture. And here I see people like you to taking pride in being a Buddhist monk. – just-today May 1 at 8:48
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You can look at your work as being for the purpose of getting you the nutriment, which in turn is for sustaining your development, which is for the benefit of all beings.

It's difficult to detach from the company one keeps and the general happy go lucky attitude. For me it usually takes an extraordinary event, a crossing of a line of sorts.

One can live a more or less secluded life without being a monk.

Ordaining nowadays isn't all sunshine & rainbows, there are many factors to consider like finding people with similar understanding as yourself, this doesn't come into play much in the beginning but as you learn much, the range of what is agreeable gets narrowed down accordingly.

If you want to get away from some external influences, do as you see fit. Perhaps some place with next to no people and next to no noise would work just as good or even better than the average monastery. There you can study and try getting some special attainments.

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  • Yes I've been thinking about moving somewhere closer to nature and further away from the city which is really distracting and the different outlook on work really makes sense and I will incorporate that. I think regular retreats would also be nice. – buddhismcuriousity Apr 27 at 15:49
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A tree cannot choose where it is planted. If its seed falls on bare land it doesn't have the luxury of travel. But instead it raises its branches, drops its leaves on the soil, breates air into the world. In time that tree and all the other trees around it will be a forest and the land will be beautiful.

You are not in the wrong place. What you see lacking is what you can give the world, what you are missing, others will give to you. There is not only beauty to be found, but to be made and lived.

Now, this 37 year old software developer needs to get back to his dull job and planning his new business venture! ;)

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  • Yes I still have a lot to learn and want to give a lot to the world and contribute to the beauty. Thank you for your answer and time πŸ™ – buddhismcuriousity Apr 28 at 10:20
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Being a developer is a huge blessing because it will one day allow you to practice for enlightenment. You need to eat too, so those skills are valuable for your meditation practice as they support you.

Think long term, make a life-plan. Don't try to rush things during the pandemic. Be patient.

Think what the life you want is, then make a list of the steps necessary to achieve them. Then think what person you need to become, and make a list of all the new habits / abilities you need to cultivate in yourself!

If you believe you will make it and help the world, and be happy, then eventually you will. Believe in yourself.

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    Yes true, thank you πŸ™ a friend of mine also told me if you really believe something you can do it no matter what – buddhismcuriousity Apr 28 at 8:43
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    The are less developers capable to keep simple precepts, so it's merely a matter of being blessed to arive at right livelihood, as far as observed, right? – Samana Johann Apr 28 at 12:57
  • What do you mean? – buddhismcuriousity Apr 28 at 13:28
  • Try to be serious with abstaining from what is not given (or proper traded), good householder, and then quick to find out for oneself. The whole it-area is far "left" and unvirtuose, even if in comparing it with common law outside of this realm. Not speaking about the contracts, of which the most are actually unserious and against the laws, compared with the "real" world. The crimerate is sure 2 times are more higher already there as in "physical" world, not to speak about virtue. Investigate it yourself selfhonest and in compairing with right conduct the Noble ones prais. Wrong view is common – Samana Johann Apr 28 at 14:45
  • I don't quite understand what you mean. Could you clarify what exactly is far left and what crimes are going on? – buddhismcuriousity Apr 29 at 16:06
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Why do you worry about things over which you have no control? You should be thankful for what you have. I once saw a beggar with no limbs!! At least you are better off. Under the circumstances no one is living an ideal life. In fact there is no ideal life. You have to make compromises unless you are a true monk. You should rejoice. Rejoice for having found Buddha. Do not feel lost. Buddha has shown the way. If you do not wish to leave your mundane life then at least devote your life for the well being of others. Develop compassion. Have compassion for all beings in existence.

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